Memorandum from Ruth Silver, Principal,
Lewisham College (FEF 12)
The Clerk to the Education Select Committee
asked for an audit of the progress on the recommendations of the
1998 Enquiry into Further Education.
This enquiry was the first time that Further
Education was looked at properly and, more importantly, understood.
The outcome was that fitting policy directions
were set, growth in student participation and support was shaped
and Further Education has changed as a result.
This document lists the recommendations and
comments on progress on deliveryin as far as it is knownand
indicates outstanding issues, in as far as they are known.
A quick scan of the progress will indicate that
1998 was centuries ago and overall, in the world of Further Education,
much has happened.
The systemic changes stemming from the report
are in the early stages of rooting themselves and this goes some
way to explaining the confusion in the sector. There are issues
of definition as indicated, funding alterations were continuous:
some were even retrospective and all occurred in the knowledge
that the paradigmatic shift from FEFC to LSC would bring with
it a new funding methodology.
In addition to systematic and structural changes
there have been many curriculum-linked developments. The list
of initiatives will serve to illustrate what the sector has been
Change in inspection regimes
Centres of Vocational Excellence
The sector responded to all of these with varying
success. Moreover, these were managed whilst there was (a) completion
of funding convergence and (b) an emerging and ever increasing
"audit factory" regime implemented.
The Learning? The model of "money insuccess
out" leads to disappointment. Humanity is more complex, changes
in humanity's learning are even more complex, particularly when
measures of achievement in use do not fit the sector well.
The Risk? Widening participation to further
Tackle the tensions between:
|1||PARSIMONIOUS CORE FUNDINGno uplift for inflation representing a 3 per cent cut
||PROMISCUOUS PURSESwhich are temporary
||AUDIT OF PROCEDUREScontinuous|
|3||DISCRETIONin order to be responsive
||CONTROLin pursuit of probity|
|4||EXCELLENCE OF INSTITUTIONS
||PARTNERSHIPoften lowest common denominator outcomes
|5||OUTCOMES OF STUDENTS
||OUTLETSto their future|
|6||POLICING THE COLLEGES
||PRAISING THE COLLEGES|
|7||DELIVERY OF PROVISION
||DEVELOPMENT OF PROVISION TO 21st CENTURY STUDENTS
|8||ACHIEVEMENT OF INSTITUTIONS
||ATTAINMENT OF STUDENTS|
|9||SECTOR LEARNINGwe have a succession crisis!
|10||GENERATIVE COLLEGESdoing what their community needs
||CONTROLLED COLLEGESfollowing regional agendas
I would be very happy to expand on these rather synoptic